GARY STEVENS, ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR, WINNER: “I had confidence going in. He relaxed like a dream for me. I knew if he would relax, we’d have a good chance. I was loaded going into the turn, a horse came up to our outside, he got headed but he’s tough, he likes a fight.
“He loves it, just loves it; he went pretty easy. I watched his last race, when Mike (Smith) was on him and he battled back then too. Those were different kinds of horses but he really came back for Mike when he went left-handed with the whip. I noticed he really responded for Mike last time and he did the same for me today. He made the lead and was looking for someone else to challenge him.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA, FINNEGANS WAKE, SECOND: “I didn’t really think we had it, not today. He was a little bit flat today, all the way, as soon as he came out of the gate. He was a little lazy, not really running, he was empty all the way. I was surprised, he ran a good race still. I got next to the winner and was hoping I could get some company and cruise a little bit more but it’s one of those things. It was not his day.”
PETER EURTON, ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR, WINNER: “I just told Gary to keep him relaxed. He watched tapes on him and talked to Mike (Smith) about him. The question was just whether he’d just be too keen early, and Mike said, ‘Put ’em to sleep.’ It was just an amazing ride.”
Future race? “We’ll wait now for the San Juan Capistrano (about 1 ¾ miles on turf June 28).”
NOTES: The winning owners are Sharon Alesia of Carlsbad; Michael Mellen (Bran Jam Stable) of Connecticut; and Joe Ciaglia of Upland.